D&D General "I make a perception check."

In most fantasy I have watched or read there was never a character in the fiction which followed around and mapped everywhere the group went. Because it is something no one needs in real life. You can go in to unexplored areas, wander around and leave without mapping a thing and still being able to know where everything is. You can even describe it to someone who has never been there and they could follow the same path based on just a verbal description.

I would suggest that was because traditionally it was used in areas that were, to one degree or another, both extensive and labyrinthine. It is entirely possible to get lost both leaving and trying to find your way back to specific places under those circumstances; I've seen people regularly do so with extensive suburban housing complexes on numerous occasions. I think you're giving people credit for more consistent spatial memory than is commonly the case, especially under the circumstances at hand (similarly, I've seen people get lost in extensive buildings, especially when the signage was inadequate.

Essentially, if your premise was true, most maps wouldn't exist in the first place.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Mapping can't be done while running, agreed. This is regardless if you believe the player or the character is actually doing the mapping. On B19 it says "Maps are drawn to help players visualized the area their characters are exploring and to provide a record of sections of a dungeon they have already explored. A good mapper should listen closely to the DM in order to draw a good representation of the dungeon."

It feels like Moldvay plays a bit loose with player vs. character compared to some books today or ENWorld discussions, so I don't know how much I'd make of that:

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That being said...

In most fantasy I have watched or read there was never a character in the fiction which followed around and mapped everywhere the group went. Because it is something no one needs in real life. You can go in to unexplored areas, wander around and leave without mapping a thing and still being able to know where everything is. You can even describe it to someone who has never been there and they could follow the same path based on just a verbal description.

Now I'm curious if any of the books in any edition have something about the map being stealable from the party. Also, how was mapping mentioned in the game excerpts in B/X? (I certainly don't remember a character ever having to drop the pen and paper for mapping to draw a sword in writing or in play).
 

Reynard

Legend
Mapping can't be done while running, agreed. This is regardless if you believe the player or the character is actually doing the mapping. On B19 it says "Maps are drawn to help players visualized the area their characters are exploring and to provide a record of sections of a dungeon they have already explored. A good mapper should listen closely to the DM in order to draw a good representation of the dungeon."

In most fantasy I have watched or read there was never a character in the fiction which followed around and mapped everywhere the group went. Because it is something no one needs in real life. You can go in to unexplored areas, wander around and leave without mapping a thing and still being able to know where everything is. You can even describe it to someone who has never been there and they could follow the same path based on just a verbal description.

The map is the same thing as a character sheet, something players use to visualize the fictitious space. Now I know everybody under the sun does not agree, but reading the text this is what Moldvey is saying to me. It is a necessary convenance for playing. Time and Movement give the DM a measuring stick to gauge how much information to release at any given time. The map is the container the players put this information in. A character doesn't need a map because they know where they are in relation to where they have been, just like in real life.
You literally just ignored the quoted portion of the rule book that says that character movement rates are based on mapping, and that characters can't map while fleeing danger.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My experience with mapping in the good ol' days was that you make the map so that you can deduce where secret doors and chambers might be found since the chance of finding those with the dice was pretty low. That's how I remember it anyway. I also remember that the mapper was always the person who was in the bathroom when people were choosing their party roles because nobody wanted to do it.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
My experience with mapping in the good ol' days was that you make the map so that you can deduce where secret doors and chambers might be found since the chance of finding those with the dice was pretty low. That's how I remember it anyway. I also remember that the mapper was always the person who was in the bathroom when people were choosing their party roles because nobody wanted to do it.

Or the guy yelling “WHERE ARE THE CHEETOZ!?!??” from the kitchen….
 

Jay Murphy1

Meterion, Mastermind of Time !
You literally just ignored the quoted portion of the rule book that says that character movement rates are based on mapping, and that characters can't map while fleeing danger.
"A base movement rate of 120' in ten minutes may seem slow, but it assumes that the players are mapping carefully searching, and trying to trying to be quiet. It also takes into account the generally 'dark and dingy' conditions of the dungeon in which characters are adventuring."

No where is it inferred or spelled out characters drop the ink and parchment and whip out their sword when the goblins appear. It is an out of game artifact to facilitate play.

Also, the paragraph on B19, "It is most important to record proper directions, shape, and approximate size, rather than spending a lot of time determining exact measurements and filling in minute details." When I purchase a map it has exact measurements and minute details. If I was making a map like George Washington surveying the Appalachians it would be filled with exact measurements and minute details. Once again, a visual aid to facilitate play. Not an act of in game play.
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
"A base movement rate of 120' in ten minutes may seem slow, but it assumes that the players are mapping carefully searching, and trying to trying to be quiet. It also takes into account the generally 'dark and dingy' conditions of the dungeon in which characters are adventuring."

No where is it inferred or spelled out characters drop the ink and parchment and whip out their sword when the goblins appear. It is an out of game artifact to facilitate play.
Why does the movement rate depend on the "players... trying to be quiet"? How do the "players" search for traps?

It feels like Moldvay wasn't distinguishing very carefully.

The point about the pen and paper feels quite a bit stronger to me!
 




Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You literally just ignored the quoted portion of the rule book that says that character movement rates are based on mapping, and that characters can't map while fleeing danger.
It doesn't say characters can't map, but just that no mapping can be done while characters are running. It seems that "players" and "characters" are being used interchangeably, though. Otherwise the mapping wouldn't affect character movement rates and it wouldn't reference players searching, since it's the characters that search.

I know that the DM always required the mapper's PC to have paper and ink or mapping wasn't allowed. What we drew was an object on the PC in question and could be stolen, soaked, or burned by a fireball.
 



Reynard

Legend
It doesn't say characters can't map, but just that no mapping can be done while characters are running. It seems that "players" and "characters" are being used interchangeably, though. Otherwise the mapping wouldn't affect character movement rates and it wouldn't reference players searching, since it's the characters that search.

I know that the DM always required the mapper's PC to have paper and ink or mapping wasn't allowed. What we drew was an object on the PC in question and could be stolen, soaked, or burned by a fireball.
Obviously I am asserting a preference and opinion, because you are right: the author is unclear because of how they use player in the passages. I don't recall whether 1E talked much about mapping, and if it did I don't know if it specified whether it was a player or character action.

I am running Rappan Athuk (5E) currently over Fantasy Grounds and after a little though I decided not to make the players map. I probably would have at the table but it was too big of a hassle with FG's sub par drawing tools.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Obviously I am asserting a preference and opinion, because you are right: the author is unclear because of how they use player in the passages. I don't recall whether 1E talked much about mapping, and if it did I don't know if it specified whether it was a player or character action.

I am running Rappan Athuk (5E) currently over Fantasy Grounds and after a little though I decided not to make the players map. I probably would have at the table but it was too big of a hassle with FG's sub par drawing tools.
Yep, the 1e DMG asserts you can't map while running (page 68), and this section here:

mapping.jpg

The PHB supports this by saying:

mapping2.jpg

mapping3.jpg

...show danger- traps, tricks, monsters.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I would suggest that was because traditionally it was used in areas that were, to one degree or another, both extensive and labyrinthine. It is entirely possible to get lost both leaving and trying to find your way back to specific places under those circumstances; I've seen people regularly do so with extensive suburban housing complexes on numerous occasions. I think you're giving people credit for more consistent spatial memory than is commonly the case, especially under the circumstances at hand (similarly, I've seen people get lost in extensive buildings, especially when the signage was inadequate.

Essentially, if your premise was true, most maps wouldn't exist in the first place.

Partially true I'd say.

I can go to an unfamiliar labyrinthine building or situation (like the skywalks in Indianapolis during Gencon) and wander around. Then turn and wander back to my starting point. Now, I can easily get lost and turned around and take longer to get back. But I don't believe for a second that I could not eventually find my way back.

Some maps, like maps of countrysides, are useful because getting off course even a little can spell disaster over large distances. But maps of smaller structures, like a single complex? Those aren't necessary for finding the entrance and exit. Those are for convenience so you aren't wasting time walking in circles.
 

Partially true I'd say.

I can go to an unfamiliar labyrinthine building or situation (like the skywalks in Indianapolis during Gencon) and wander around. Then turn and wander back to my starting point. Now, I can easily get lost and turned around and take longer to get back. But I don't believe for a second that I could not eventually find my way back.

"Eventually" is doing some heavy lifting here.

Some maps, like maps of countrysides, are useful because getting off course even a little can spell disaster over large distances. But maps of smaller structures, like a single complex? Those aren't necessary for finding the entrance and exit. Those are for convenience so you aren't wasting time walking in circles.

Or, in a D&D context, walking into a different problem when you've already expended the resources you need to deal with it.
 

Reynard

Legend
Partially true I'd say.

I can go to an unfamiliar labyrinthine building or situation (like the skywalks in Indianapolis during Gencon) and wander around. Then turn and wander back to my starting point. Now, I can easily get lost and turned around and take longer to get back. But I don't believe for a second that I could not eventually find my way back.

Some maps, like maps of countrysides, are useful because getting off course even a little can spell disaster over large distances. But maps of smaller structures, like a single complex? Those aren't necessary for finding the entrance and exit. Those are for convenience so you aren't wasting time walking in circles.
One presumption we make, I think, is that professional dungeoneers have some skill with measuring distances and replicating them to scale. I am a land surveyor by trade and I would wager my ability to estimate distances by sight or pace against most folks' in a second.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Obviously I am asserting a preference and opinion, because you are right: the author is unclear because of how they use player in the passages. I don't recall whether 1E talked much about mapping, and if it did I don't know if it specified whether it was a player or character action.

I am running Rappan Athuk (5E) currently over Fantasy Grounds and after a little though I decided not to make the players map. I probably would have at the table but it was too big of a hassle with FG's sub par drawing tools.
This is from the 1e DMG.

"If movement is into an area where the party has not already been and mapped, then immediately roll again to determine if the party will be lost the next day also."

"Mapping During Flight: No mapping is ever possible. Give no distance measures in moving the pursued. Give no compass directions either!"

"While the construction is underway, the character should be exploring and mapping the terrain beyond the core area."

It seems the characters were the ones mapping in 1e.
 

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